We chat to local designer Simone Ainsworth prior to her debut at The Village Markets this Sunday, 18th November 2018, about her eco-luxe cozzie label Seamone, the inspiration behind the brand and what makes her tick.
Tell us about your background?
I had a fantasy childhood, literally raised on the beaches of Sydney. Inevitably finding comfort in the salt and sand while learning life's greatest lessons from the sea. As a young girl I was able to understand the importance of nature and discovered I was a deeply visual person while traveling around Australia's entire coastline in a caravan my surfing father, beautiful gypsy mother and adventurous brothers. Our family then settled into a idyllic 70's beach house in Coolangatta, simply because the surf was consistent and the weather forever perfect. My late teens and early adulthood was an exploration in discovering new tropical destinations, traveling around Australia Solo, uncovering the layers of my spirituality, and experimenting with undeniable creative desires. Now with several years experience in the fashion industry... my free spirit, obsession with romance and strong sense of nostalgia plays the role of expressing the alluring femininity and sentimental emotion of the unique swimwear designs for Seamone. I am currently back living in my family's Coolangatta home, of now 20 years... Im very lucky and grateful to have the people I love around me and supporting me on this new chapter of my life... right now the world is my oyster and I'm so blessed to be in a position to welcome love and success into my life with arms wide open.
What made your pursue your creative passion?
After working in the fashion industry for different companies and labels for sometime, having studied Business and also gaining Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Web Design and IT qualifications, it just felt like the right time to put all my passions into one. It feels like all the pieces of the puzzle have finally come together to create the bigger picture. Now looking back on my life I can appreciate all the life lessons I have learnt and all the experience I've accumulated that has brought me here running an entire business completely on my own. Beacuse of my creative passion, I just woke up one day and just started working on Seamone and just haven't stopped since.
When did you take the plunge and start your own business?
I began working on Seamone last year in 2017 and launched the label and website site just before Christmas last year, So the business is still within its first year being available to the public, it's still very small and new indeed. I have developed 2 annual collections so far 'Black Rose' and 'Surrender' and currently making plans to begin the design process of my third collection, that will include RTW apparel as well as swimwear.
What does your brand consist of?
The second swimwear collection SURRENDER, Crafted in premium Italian fabrics and introducing an exciting new technology that microencapsulates skin-nourishing antioxidants including Vitamin E and Aloe Vera.... works as the body activates the material, allowing the skin to be hydrated, soft and luminous. SS19 Is a simple collection with thoughtfully placed panels, quality handmade trims and romantic lingerie inspired tailoring. These limited edition separates spread over a romantically luxe palette including our new Antioxidant Infusion 'Sea Black', our gorgeous 'Sea Blue' magically made from recycled fishing nets and of course our much anticipated exclusive print 'Sea Jungle' that visually depicts our story of Surrender. Designed for those in an uninhibited and fearless pursuit of liberation and love.
Where is the label designed and made?
Seamone Swimwear is designed on the glorious Gold Coast. The patterns are all original and expertly cut in-house, fitted and refitted until the most superior shapes are achieved. The exclusive prints are either designed by myself or commissioned through artists I personally admire the most. The collections are then meticulously handmade in the peaceful, nature based island of Bali. Committed to ethical business practices, I truly value my role in the employment and well-being of my team and artisans. It is my goal to contribute positively to the staff and the communities in the area so that I can be involved personally as well as professionally in Bali when I am there. The journey to create each Seamone piece defiantly takes patience and dedicated ‘island time’.
What inspires you?
This is defiantly the hardest question. Because if I say 'everything', it still won't feel like enough...maybe its limitless topic on what inspires me. I guess all the usual suspects on the surface... art, culture, religion, nature, music, fashion are always fluctuating with offerings. I always try to widen my perspective on a lot of things... knowledge, understanding and appreciation must always come first. Right now in life I'm inspired by people who are brave, I'm totally inspired by technology and for some reason lately I'm finding myself completely obsessed with swimming pools! ( I even had to start a private "pools" moodboard on Pinterest to fuel this... ha!)
What are your plans for the brand and where do you hope it takes you?
I have only just embarked on this remarkable journey and I'm so inspired to learn more about this industry and continue to slowly grow. I founded Seamone only after I had researched and sourced the worlds most eco-conscious fabrics, eco-conscious operations and eco-conscious team of people. I hope to collaborate with like minded businesses and individuals to make a positive change in the fashion world. The plans for the label are to stay slow, exclusive and boutique, create beautiful, luxury, timeless resort wear pieces for women around the world... 'sustainability', not just in an environmental sense but also in regards to longevity of the label. Personally I hope this all leads me to a place where I'll meet my mystery forever person, I'm single and my dream is to have my own family to come into my life soon. Everything I am doing now with Seamone is for them, with the future in mind. Maybe I'll meet the man of my dreams at the markets! 😉
What were the biggest challenges when launching your brand?
The biggest challenge for me is defiantly the emotional roller-coaster, I'm naturally a very soft/watery person...very sensitive, very shy. I run the label completely solo, so to stand up and take the role as a boss woman is a huge 180 for me to step out of my comfort zone. I have also felt this struggle to keep the fashion and my spirituality seperate... I've felt a collision, and been on a quest to find balance and merge the two... I have to mediate alot on certain things, the intention for what I am doing has to be from the heart. I like to be a very private person in all aspects of my personal life... so putting something out there to the world that deeply reflects who I am... has been a really scary thing to do.
What is the best thing about having your own business?
The best thing about having my business, is the creative control and having the freedom to express what I think is beautiful. Combining all my passions into one. My favourite part is shooting the content, that's when I push myself and can let my imagination run wild. As a start up its hard to know if your on the right path or not, and I'm really just trying to let go and enjoy the lessons and the process as much as I can. I think the most positive thing I have noticed... are the changes with in myself... I've become stronger in the sense of my values, using my voice and taking control in reaching my goals.